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Mack Brown on QB Drake Maye's competitive nature: 'He had to fight to get a chicken leg at the table'

The youngest of four boys, Drake Maye is used to battling for everything.

Coming from an athletically inclined family overshadowed the University of North Carolina product's upbringing, his father, Mark, was an All-American high school quarterback and played college ball at UNC. His mother, Amiee, was an All-State basketball player. His oldest brother, Luke, was a Tar Heel basketball forward, earning a national title. Cole won a national championship in baseball at Florida. Beau dealt with knee injuries but still walked onto the UNC basketball team.

Growing up in such a family frames Maye's personality and competitive nature.

North Carolina head coach Mack Brown recently told "The Jim Rome Show" that Maye's background will help him at the next level.

"If his mom and dad would let me, I'd adopt him," Brown said. "He is a great person. He's competitive. He's grown up in an athletic family. His mom was a college athlete. His dad was the leading passer in the ACC. He's got two brothers that won national championships -- one in baseball at Florida, one at basketball here. He's got another brother that was on our basketball team. He's the youngest of four, so he's been beaten up. He had to fight to get a chicken leg at the table. He's so competitive in everything he does. He's smart. He's got pride. He is so passionate about football that he does everything right in his life to make sure that he is going to play the best he can play."

A college coach stumping for his former player is nothing new, but given the situation it remains informative in how we (and teams) view Maye entering the NFL. The film is the film -- it will be picked apart for positives and negatives. Maye has both sky-high potential and some questionable attributes entering the NFL. But it's intangibles like the ones Brown verbalized that the team that selects Maye will lean on. NFL clubs overturn every stone in the pre-draft process, particularly for first-round quarterbacks.

Brown admitted that Maye is only starting two seasons and 26 games could be a negative entering his pro career (for comparison, Jayden Daniels stated 55 games in college).

"If there's a negative for him, he's played two years," Brown said. "Most of these guys have played five and six years because of COVID. He's only had two. So, what I see in that is that he's accomplished national player of the year in only two years. What he's got is the upside is unbelievable because he can improve so much -- every year. And I don't think there's any question. You got to get with the right team. You got to have the right coaches, but he's a guy that can win a Super Bowl at quarterback."

The discussion entering draft week will revolve around where and in what order the quarterbacks will land after Caleb Williams. Maye, Daniels, J.J. McCarthy, Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix are all options to go in the first round. With each boasting different talents, NFL teams must separate the intangibles that could make each a leader and potential star.

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